One of the reasons why the recently launched heavy rocket, the Falcon Heavy will go down in history, became the record for the number of used engines. Them at three stages of the rocket in the amount of 28, and 27 to run concurrently. And this, says Elon Musk, one of the most important features of his brainchild.
Why is the rocket so much conventionally small engines? So if you fail one or two, she continued to work, and if you break a dozen at once – managed to make an emergency but safe landing. This strategy Masks borrowed from the IT sector, where the use of large mainframes now go to the building of an extensive cluster of simple computers.
According to the Mask, the Falcon Heavy will fly, even if you refuse 6 engines, that is almost 25 %. But this is an unlikely event, and he doesn’t like the comparison its missiles from the failed Soviet “N-1” that had the maximum number of engines in history – 30. “Soviet rocket soared for about a hundred reasons,” says Musk, “avionics, electronics, etc., and the engines have nothing to do with”. Although officially it’s the exact opposite and the difficulties in balancing all this power and destroyed the H-1.
However, the Falcon Heavy flies, though not perfect, and a large number of sustainers was not a hindrance to the rockets. Therefore, the following model, Big Falcon Rocket will have a 31 engine. And it will be new, powerful Raptor with thrust up to 1700 kN, rather than the current Merlin 1D with their 845 kN. Elon Max says that this strategy gives him confidence in the inevitable success of SpaceX.
Source — ArsTechnica